CommonSpirit Improves Patient Access with Stericycle Online Scheduling Solution

July 26, 2021 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

CommonSpirit Health was formed by the alignment of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives as a single ministry in early 2019 and delivers care across a system of 137 hospitals and more than 1,000 care centers serving 21 states. CommonSpirit is the fifth-largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. As one of the largest health systems in the United States, they needed a system-wide scalable online patient scheduling solution that:

  • Improved patient access to high-quality healthcare
  • Allowed for system-wide scaling across multiple service lines
  • Easily integrated into existing practice management and CRM infrastructures
  • Included both online and mobile functionality

Learn more how our Intelligent Scheduling provides scheduling solutions for  every patient population & venue of care.

The Challenge

The health system needed an online scheduling solution to address two primary business challenges:

  • Potential patients had no way of knowing how long they'd wait at a CommonSpirit ER or walk-in clinic. This made the system's facilities vulnerable to competition.
  • Both industry and in-house research showed that patients were looking for access to online tools that could help make the care experience more convenient. CommonSpirit knew it needed to address this need to support patient acquisition and satisfaction.

The Solution

CommonSpirit engaged Stericycle Communication Solutions to implement its Intelligent Scheduling solution, built on the InQuicker™ platform, in more than 55 locations across California, Arizona, and Nevada. The health system began by introducing our Intelligent Scheduling solution in its emergency rooms and urgent care centers. Soon after, the effort was expanded to include physician practices and several ancillary service lines.

 
commonspirit logo

"The simplicity of InQuicker, coupled with its scalability was key."

Scott Carswell, senior vice president of corporate strategy and integrated delivery network development for CommonSpirit.

A patient scheduling best practice-based implementation plan and consistent communication between Stericycle Communication Solutions and CommonSpirit's IT, marketing, and clinical teams were critical because of how quickly CommonSpirit wanted to implement its new online scheduling solution into many facilities. Understanding this, the Stericycle Communication Solutions team brought CommonSpirit a wide array of resources, including on-site implementation and training support, marketing materials and guidance, and a real-time analytics console that provided valuable insights into patient demographic and volume data.

The Results

CommonSpirit's results in the first year were strong. In an 11 month timeframe, they saw:

  • 8,300 Intelligent Scheduling urgent care services
  • 950 Intelligent Scheduling doctor's office visits
  • 17,100 Intelligent Scheduling emergency department services

Even more, of the patients who used our Intelligent Scheduling solution, 52% self-identified as being new to the CommonSpirit facility.

commonspirit logo

"I thought the technical element would be more complicated than it was. Going live was smooth. We also found the InQuicker console helpful in terms of providing all the different user data points – from schedule management to patient satisfaction survey responses and volume data – in a way that is accessible and useful."

Dilan Good, project manager for CommonSpirit.

Due to the measurable success that came with having our Intelligent Scheduling solution in its ERs and urgent care centers, CommonSpirit decided to look for new ways to utilize and optimize online patient scheduling, including implementing it in physician practices and several outpatient areas.

"We are working on how to use the InQuicker tool in order to retain patients who present [in the ER] without a primary care physician. We also want to use it for outpatient scheduling as a way to increase access to these services," said Gary Spaugh, former CommonSpirit vice president of strategic market development. "InQuicker is key to our plans to provide coordinated care for all that our patients need. It's an elegant, simple system that is helping CommonSpirit move into the future of healthcare."

Even more, here is patient-submitted, anonymous feedback on their improved patient satisfaction:

  • "Best experience ever in an ER; prompt, patient, and professional."
  • "Timely and efficient, cordial and courteous. In and out in 45 minutes."
  • "Seen quickly upon arrival and by the doctor after only 20 minutes in the patient room."

To learn more about how our Intelligent Scheduling solution built on the InQuicker™ platform can help your health system attract and retain patients, fill schedules, and improve access to care, click here.

Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling combines technology and live voice services to create the modern patient experience.

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